Some Notes On New York City

  • I have a lot of sims on my machine, including Xplane in various flavors, and also The Drzeweicki designs verion of New York, which I've been using as a comparison with Aeroflys New York, and I have a note or two to pass on to whomever is concerned.


    Overall, I would say that the Aerofly New York has superior craftsmanship: No, (or very few) floating objects, bridges nicely detailed etc. But while Aerofly New York is a bit better on technical merits, DD's New York is much more recognizable as New York to anybody who was actually raised in or simply knows that city fairly well. This is entirely due to the texturing, as it becomes very clear eventually that probably for efficiency's sake, Aerofly uses a limited number of repeating textures. In doing so, however you unfortunately lose more than a bit of the unique "Flavor" of the city.


    Far too many iconic and well known landmarks share the same texture set, and buildings that people who know the city would be looking for are oddly hard to find because the textures that make them unique are simply wrong. The Grace building, Times square, Madison square garden, the Woolworth building, The hearst tower (which is so unique nobody could miss it) American radiator, the AT&T building..... There's a good sized list.


    Oh yeah, Citigroup Center seems to be flawless white, like something from Star trek. :D


    I understand that it would be painstaking to modify them all, but if a good representative number, with their distinctive and unique coloring could be "corrected" it would go a lot towards the authenticity of the effort, and is also something that might be kept in mind for future Aerofly cities.


    Just a heads up, and no idea if you have the resources to address it, but if not, maybe some modder will eventually see their way clear to sprucing up some of these landmarks.


    Heres hoping!


    http://ny.curbed.com/maps/new-…t-iconic-buildings-mapped
    http://www.nyc-architecture.com/MID/MID078.htm


    EDIT! I was also bemused to note that while the Statue of Liberty was nicely done, the nearly as important nearby Ellis Island was utterly bare, and that straight across from them, Governors island was unfinished. Again, maybe a target for an ambitious modder if the devs are otherwise occupied.

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  • I think this is also true of most of the airfields and airports, and it gives the impression that they are just large 3D boxes rather than actual buildings. Customised texturing (and possibly colouring) would go a long way to improve the realism. Maybe this is where third parties like ORBx can help?

  • I would add the New Yorker Hotel on 34th St opposite Penn station/Madison Sq Garden to that list, it's one of those iconic NYC buildings from that beautiful Art Deco period. It's currently on the grey and white stripey office building texture, but there are some buildings in FS2 NY that use a stone texture that would swap in and look good. There's a famous neon sign on the top, which is in the FSX Manhattan X version on Steam. That would look good for night flying.

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  • In all honesty... I think that NY fails as a paid DLC. No, let me rephrase that: it doesn't do Aerofly FS 2 much good. Apart from the things mentioned above my main problem with the DLC is that everything outside of the inner city is completely bare and only filled with odd colored low res textures and trees ALL OVER the place in the oddest places. You seem to be getting a huge region but you only get a small inner city.


    I don't mean to be harsh and I am sure the devs who made this put an endless amount of work and love in this DLC but imho it is better to either release something good for a higher price or after a longer period than to release something not so good.


    Besides: it must have to do with the need to get some extra funds but I much rather had seen the time and money spend on this DLC being spend on getting AFS2 itself better. There is still a LOT to be done. Don't get me wrong, as may (hopefully) be clear I do like AFS2 a LOT but it's clearly Early access yet and creating and releasing DLC for an Early access project...? That's a bit odd in my view.

  • I think the DD version would crush most computers. What about the Aerosoft version in FSX?


    Actually the DD version is relatively primitive, in that it uses a sort of google sketchup thingy where a large number of the buildings are one-texture and slightly misshapen due to it being based on imperfect digital scans of the city. Also a LOT of the buildings are floating in the open air, etc. When you take off from KLGA in DDs New York, the first thing you notice is several huge fuel tanks floating in the air right off the runway.


    Aerosoft NY has a similar issue where literally half the city is floating, and while a fix was promised years and years ago, it never happened.


    Technically, Aerofly New York pretty much wins any comparison hands down. Where DD New York stages a comeback, is in having a nice selection of unique building textures on selected iconic buildings. The buildings are also there in Aerofly: Just strangely textured.


    The other sims also have copious amounts of autogen to take up the slack in the otherwise open spaces surrounding a scenery pack such as New York. I don't see this as necessarily a "fault" in Aerofly, as much as a simple reality of Orthophotos that will probably end up being addressed by somebody like Orbx or an enthusiast in the style of TonyWob. Its early days yet.


    Besides: it must have to do with the need to get some extra funds but I much rather had seen the time and money spend on this DLC being spend on getting AFS2 itself better. There is still a LOT to be done. Don't get me wrong, as may (hopefully) be clear I do like AFS2 a LOT but it's clearly Early access yet and creating and releasing DLC for an Early access project...? That's a bit odd in my view.


    Of course, we all have priorities, and I think a smaller company has to remain concerned about cash flow at this sensitive point. I myself would never ever ever turn down a modern version of NY since I love the city and know it's a rare one to be tackled, so Kudos from me to Aerofly for choosing something so ambitious.


    I know they've mentioned in the past here on the forum that the scenery team is a separate unit whose workings don't interfere with the main team, so I myself don't really have worries about wasted resources, per se. This thread was intended more as the type of constructive criticism a reviewer might give, and I hope it's seen as such. In fact it was intended for somebody else at first, but was kind of large for a Steam message. :p


    What I'm really thinking is that if Orbx sticks to its stated plans, they will be stepping in relatively soon and producing scenery with their signature quality and attention to detail, at which point many things will probably be accelerating into higher gear for Aerofly and this early period will be be remembered as perfectly predictable teething pains.

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  • I know they've mentioned in the past here on the forum that the scenery team is a separate unit whose workings don't interfere with the main team, so I myself don't really have worries about wasted resources, per se.


    What I'm really thinking is that if Orbx sticks to its stated plans, they will be stepping in relatively soon and producing scenery with their signature quality and attention to detail, at which point many things will probably be accelerating into higher gear for Aerofly and this early period will be be remembered as perfectly predictable teething pains.


    Good to know concerning the team, agreed concerning Orbx and hoping for the higher gear!

  • Not getting it right is certainly not limited to this DLC. Orbx, of all groups, do exactly the same thing and when called on the carpet about it, just ignore you or eventually lock the thread.


    I complained about one of the add on payware airports outside London where the very large high end auto design and manufacturing plant is practically in the landing pattern and half of the complex, maybe more, was not even coded. weird.


    Regards,


    Ray


  • I think this brings up one or two things it's worth remembering. If we can post evidence of missing or inaccurate features, preferably supported by screenshots, that gives the devs the best chance of updating the details as and when they get chance. If FS2 is a success, there is more chance they will have the resources to patch and improve things, but a small dev team has to keep the cashflow going and get the sim up and running.


    With anything early access, you have to expect some less than polished elements, but our financial contributions by buying the DLC (which is pretty well priced compared to much on the market) help ensure the longer term success of the project. Remember that we haven't bought a finished game, we have bought into early access of a new project and there is a subtle difference. Feedback like this thread can be really useful to help the devs identify what needs improving, but if it gets to the 'calling on the carpet about it' then it tends to have a negative effect and is more likely to get ignored. I'd also suggest not thinking of it in terms of 'complaining' but bug reporting. I'm not having a go at Ray here, far from it, but it is something that often happens where people start to get very frustrated when no response comes from the dev team, so discussions escalate into slanging matches and accusatory posts, which doesn't help anyone.


    You should only enter into early access work if you are prepared to accept that it is a work in progress and that some features might or might not make it. What often seems like a quick fix may take lots of coding and may have knock on effects and introduce bugs elsewhere. I would guess most people are here because they want to see the next big sim, and FS2 is showing the potential to have a sniff of that. We can make a very positive difference as to how it develops.


    TL;DR If we keep it factual, back it up with evidence, and keep the feedback respectful and professional, there is a far greater chance that whatever bug is being reported will be fixed at some point, but there may be other priorities for the dev team in the short term, so please be patient.

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